BELIZE

Away 2018/21

Matchworn or matchprepared Jordy Polanco (game unknown)

Manufacturer: Unbranded

Source: Collector

Belize is kind of the oddball of Central America: being the only English-speaking country in the region, Belize feels closer connected to the Caribbean countries, than to its direct neighbors. With its many ethnic groups, such as the Garifuna which originate from St. Vincent or the Mennonites, which are of German descent and maintain a lifestyle similar to the Amish, Belize might be the most culturally diverse country in Central America.

As the smallest country by population in continental America, the Football Federation of Belize has a difficult job, getting together a competitive team. With a team that is mainly comprised of players from local teams, Belize’s national team was never ranked higher than 114th place in the FIFA ranking and only managed to qualify for the CONCACAF Gold Cup once in 2013, where the team lost all three games.


THE SHIRT

When I traveled to Belize in 2019 (which you should also do, because Belize is AWESOME!), I also visited their national stadium and the football federation, hoping I could get one of their shirts for my collection. Unfortunately, I was told that shirts were not for sale, because the FIFA prohibited them from selling the shirts, because Belize didn’t have a proper manufacturer and supplier. Fortunately, I also met the women’s national team coach, who was happy to give me shirt she was wearing. While not the design that their senior team wore, the shirt was still used by their goalkeepers and by the youth teams.

Since then, I was still on the hunt for the proper shirts and eventually contacted the right person, who was able to get me these two beauties:

Either worn or prepared for a match, the shirts are kept in the countries national colors and feature an embroidered federation badge on the chest as well as the country’s coat of arms sewn on the left sleeve. Applied to the other sleeve is a CONCACAF patch, indicating that the shirt was either used or prepared for the CONCACAF Nations League. Interestingly, there is no sign of a manufacturer anywhere on the shirts, suggesting that the shirts have been designed and produced by the Football Federation of Belize itself.

Belize when they played French Guiana in 2019.




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